Former Irish international and West of Ireland champion Joe Lyons has launched a new on-line golf community that will make the game more affordable.
Golfwithamember.com will enable golf club members to avail of member guest rates around the country and the world.
The site encourages golfers to utilise the member-guest rate at their home club by inviting friends - old and new - for a game of golf.
This will provide the guests with a much cheaper green fee rate than normal and will provide clubs with revenue that they may not have had in these harsh economic times.
The site will also make it much easier for people to arrange golf with existing golfing friends. There will be the facility to post messages to the community such as: “I am heading for nine holes at 6 o clock, anyone interested?”
Individuals will be able to invite friends from all over the country and indeed the world to join. It will provide access to cheap golf for people on their travels and potentially cut the cost of holiday golf in half. Users can get to know other golfers from around the world online and arrange golf before they travel.
Once a sufficient user base is built up members will be able to avail of a variety of discount deals on the site.
There is also a facility for clubs to join Golfwithamember.com, which will provide a facility whereby clubs can send friend requests to other clubs and the potential for twinning arrangements.
There are also club groups on the site where clubs can register with a group of clubs in offering reciprocal green fee rates. Clubs listed in these groups are agreeing to reduced green fees for the members of all the other clubs listed in that particular group.
For example County Galway golf clubs could set up a group whereby members of all clubs registered in the group could play each others club at a 75% green fee rate with or without a member.
Of course there is no obligation on clubs to join a specific group and the site can just be used as another marketing tool in the clubs armoury. The site will offer clubs an opportunity to take control of their online marketing strategy for free.
The combination of incentives for individuals and clubs to join the site may assist clubs in retaining membership levels.
By joining the golfwithamember.com community, individuals and clubs will add value to their existing club membership.
Lyons explains: “The golf industry in Ireland is suffering at the moment with clubs revenues falling everywhere. The golf industry is one sector where there is a real live possibility of reviving our fortunes.
“Ireland is a global leader in golf at the moment. We have produced the best players in the world from some of the best clubs in the world. Golf in Ireland has never been more affordable.”
Apart from all the benefits to members and clubs there is a further benefit. The golfwithamember.com community will donate 20% of all profits generated from the site (mainly advertising) to charity. Four charities have been identified as receiving 5% each. They will be published on the site in the very near future.
The site is free to join for individuals and clubs.